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Subject: Detailed Turn/Phase description. rss

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Hi,

I'm in need of a detailed, phase-by-phase, step-by-step turn structure description as a teaching aid.

I have found Magic Turn Structure as best in breed os far, but it does have tha mana burn stuff in it.

Anybody have a better turn structure I can use as a player aid, hopefully something that is printer-friendly?
 
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Michael Webb
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As a teaching aid? The first thing I would suggest is not worrying about having a detailed sheet for teaching, keep things as simple as

Untap
Upkeep
Draw
Main Phase 1
Combat
Main Phase 2
EoT

A very, very common mistake that I've seen people make when teaching Magic is trying to introduce everything all at once. Boil your descriptions down, keep the decks simple initially. If you know you are going to teach, make decks specially tuned for that that have introductions to things like instant-speed combat tricks and comes into play triggers. Do not try to make something as detailed as the link you had in the original post, most of your students will run screaming!
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Todd Pytel
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edit: Ninja'd by Michael

I think that if I showed a complete breakdown of turns and phases to a new player they would run away screaming.

I tell new players they can cast any type of spell at two points in their own turn - before combat starts and after it's completed. Then that instants are special, because they can be cast in response to other spells or during the opponent's turn. Give a demonstration of a typical Lightning Bolt vs. Giant Growth scenario to illustrate the stack using whatever cards are handy. I'd probably also mention that instants can be cast after attackers are declared and after blockers are declared. I probably wouldn't mention casting instants in upkeep or the end step until it's actually relevant in a game.

That's always worked fine for me to get people started, and I've taught quite a few HS kids with minimal gaming experience. The intricacies of the turn structure don't make much sense until you understand how to take advantage of them, and that's hard to do without some experience actually playing with the cards for a while.
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Adam B.
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CortexBomb wrote:

Untap
Upkeep
Draw
Main Phase 1
Combat
Main Phase 2
EoT


Agreed... i'd avoid the mega-chart or trying to mix together the turn phases and the spell stack phases.

I think you can pretty easily get by with a phase chart that looks like:

Untap & Upkeep
Draw
Main Phase 1
Combat
>>Combat Starts
>>Declare Attackers
>>Declare Blockers
>>Damage Resolved
>>Combat Ends
Main Phase 2
End of Turn & Cleanup

As the player reminder, as long both players understand that you can drop instants or activate abilities during each of these phases, and respond to your opponent's instants or abilities with instants or abilities yourself.
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Michael Webb
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ninja

laugh

Really, I agree with Adam's clarifications about the sub-phases of combat, but I think if you know you're going to be teaching, then the best way to introduce each new element of complexity is to have special decks prepared.

The first deck: a simple creature based deck, no extras, just for learning

Then: add sorcery speed combat effects.

Then: mix in instant speed combat tricks with sorcery speed ones. Explain how these differ. (related: can do the same thing with classic blue cards like Jump versus Flight, showing what each is good for).

And so forth. I strongly believe in stepping up complexity slowly and helping the student to learn the game by playing with each added element. This is sort of a simulation of how people initially learned the game, and I still think it's the best way to proceed. I know that I wouldn't have wanted to learn all of the sub-phases when I first picked up the game, trying to understand how Royal Assassins and Icy Manipulators worked was also a learning curve, and so forth. A good teacher can be aware of each of these hurdles and can make decks to introduce the concepts.
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Todd Pytel
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I definitely agree that having teaching decks prebuilt is very helpful, though I wouldn't go so far as having multiple levels of teaching decks. I've had roughly the same 5 monocolor M10 decks (decklists here) for years and have always been happy with them. There are moves to make in those that won't be obvious to someone just starting out, but then those can be demonstrated very well by swapping decks and showing what I can do with the same cards. And if, for example, someone tries to play Righteousness before attackers are declared, then that provides context for an explanation of phases.

Again, my teaching experience is with HS players meeting up after school. Usually once they've played the M10 decks a bit, I give them one of the Planeswalker half-decks I got from the local shop and they just build up and tweak from there. If I were playing with more dedicated gamers that really wanted to understand the game and had more time (after-school play means being done in an hour or so), I would go from the precons to playing Core Set Limited out of my M10-12 cube. That really gets new players thinking about the big ideas of Magic rather than dwelling on individual tricks and keywords. But 15 year olds usually want to go from zero to having their own deck ASAP, and we don't have time to do draft or sealed after school anyway.
 
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tppytel wrote:
edit: Ninja'd by Michael

I think that if I showed a complete breakdown of turns and phases to a new player they would run away screaming.

I tell new players they can cast any type of spell at two points in their own turn - before combat starts and after it's completed. Then that instants are special, because they can be cast in response to other spells or during the opponent's turn. Give a demonstration of a typical Lightning Bolt vs. Giant Growth scenario to illustrate the stack using whatever cards are handy. I'd probably also mention that instants can be cast after attackers are declared and after blockers are declared. I probably wouldn't mention casting instants in upkeep or the end step until it's actually relevant in a game.

That's always worked fine for me to get people started, and I've taught quite a few HS kids with minimal gaming experience. The intricacies of the turn structure don't make much sense until you understand how to take advantage of them, and that's hard to do without some experience actually playing with the cards for a while.

I'm not asking you how to teach the game. I'm asking you if you have a specific resource, but thanks anyway.
 
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Jeremy Koopmans
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Try the Turn Structure post from the FAQ on the Magic forums.

It has a basic and a detailed version, depending on your needs.
 
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